The MGR Statue traffic island at Cantonment remains a major hazard for motorists in the city.The roundabout was created in 2016 after a public outcry over the opening of the Anna Nagar Link Road for traffic. For more than three years, the police have blocked direct access to Lawsons Road from the new link road, indicating the absence of a proper traffic management plan, complain motorists. The police installed an automatic traffic signal at the junction in 2016 but it hardly functioned for a few days. Now, the junction sees traffic pile-ups as vehicles converge from different directions.
Traffic policemen stationed near the roundabout are usually busy conducting vehicle checks, especially booking helmet-less two wheeler riders, say commuters. “Earlier, traffic police used to regulate vehicles at this spot. In the absence of a traffic signal, drivers ride without concern for the oncoming vehicles,” complains T. M. Ranganathan, a resident of Srirangam who takes the route often. He added that political sentiments must not outweigh public safety and orderly traffic movement.M. Sekaran, Member, District Road Safety Council, said that through the council, they have been raising complaints to the Corporation since the roundabout was established but in vain. The Council has put forward two solutions – ensure that it is a self-regulated roundabout or reduce the size of traffic island and install signals like the one near Head Post office or Puthur junction. “The route connects the Tiruchi Government Hospital with some important parts of the city.
Maximum movement of ambulances is on the stretch and due to the already existing congestion, it becomes difficult for the ambulance drivers,” he said. “Late at night, large trucks and mofussil buses take this route through Anna Nagar. Most of them zip past with no concern for other smaller vehicles,” said Mr. Sekaran. Once a traffic signal is installed, movement of traffic from Anna Nagar Link Road towards Lawsons Road need not be restricted, he added. City Corporation officials said that the roundabout was one of the three in the city to get a facelift under Smart City Mission recently.
“Nearly two crores was spent in establishing the fountains with a garden and lights. This work and the conception was done with proper planning. Traffic policemen stationed at the circle will help ease the problem,” they said.
(source : The Hindu)